2016 is the first year in which most people who grew up watching science fiction now believe they are living in the future. Just look at all the amazing technology we now have.
But there was one reason why you might want to forget all about 2016, from a health point of view. For the first time in over half a century, life expectancy in the US actually declined. Given the inexorable increase in longevity, this was a bitter blow to the medical establishment who truly believed they were solving the problem.
The truth, however, is that hospitals aren’t actually that good at solving health problems. Their role seems to be one of managing symptoms and reducing pain rather than curing diseases outright and extending people’s lives. Plus, if medical negligence lawyers are to be believed, they’re actually putting patients at risk. According to the latest data, deaths from medical treatment are the fourth highest cause of death in the United States, just behind heart attacks, cancer, and strokes.
So what can you do to stay out of the hospital in 2017? Take a look at some of this advice.
Get Your Blood Pressure Checked
It used to be that you had to go to the doctor’s office to get your blood pressure checked. But these days, it’s far easier to get it measured at home, using a blood pressure testing kit. The problem is that for most of us, our blood pressure is too high. We eat too much salt, get too stressed and smoke and drink too much.
Many doctors will tell you that blood pressure rises naturally over the course of a lifetime, but this isn’t true. Studies of indigenous populations show blood pressure falling between the ages of 20 and 65 from around 120/80 to less than 105/70.
The Global Burden of Disease report produced by the World Health Organisation says that not eating enough seeds is the eighth leading cause of an early death. Failing to eat enough seeds is associated with a host of diseases including diabetes and heart disease, despite their high fat content. Not eating enough fruit was the sixth leading cause of premature death, and not eating enough veggies came in at number 12.
Don’t Get Stressed
One of the most damaging things to our well-being is getting stressed. According to the Global Burden of Disease report, being less stressed, like the Spanish, can lead to dramatic gains in healthy life expectancy.
The study pointed out that this finding was actually quite remarkable, given the economic woes of Spain. High unemployment, low wages and the lack of anything close to a thriving economy would usually take their toll on health. But in Spain, the attitude is a lot more relaxed, and it shows in the health statistics.
The Spanish stay out of hospital thanks to lower levels of stress. They experience less breast cancer, asthma, heart disease, alcoholism, and self-harm. It’s worth, therefore, having a chat with your boss about reducing your hours or giving some of your project work to another colleague.